Winery to Watch 2015

Savoire, France: Lambert de Seyssel

Seyssel is a small appellation in France’s Savoie that had once been known for its sparkling wines—particularly those of Royal Seyssel, launched in 1901. The wines were all but forgotten until recently, when Olivier Varichon, the great-grandson of one of Royal Seyssel’s founders, teamed up with Gérard and Catherine Lambert and relaunched the brand in 2008. A blend of 70 percent molette and 30 percent altesse, with secondary fermentation in the bottle, the Petit Royal spent three years on the lees before disgorgement. That time on the lees has given it a fine, gentle texture, broad and enveloping, with lightly toasty wheat notes driven by a brisk, cider-apple acidity. Dry and clean yet full of flavor, it’s an exciting discovery in the world of sparkling wine.